Seymour: Kiwis responsible, not infantile

  • 01/11/2015
ACT Party leader David Seymour (Simon Wong)
ACT Party leader David Seymour (Simon Wong)

Allowing bars to open during Rugby World Cup games didn't turn the country into the drunken shambles that had been predicted, say the backers of the law change that made it possible.

Police communication centres today said the local aftermath of the All Blacks win over Australia in the Rugby World Cup final in London was quiet.

A law change was made two months ago to allow bars to open early during the tournament, rather than having to apply for special licences. Under the changes, hoteliers had to give police seven days' notice they would be open.

The change was enabled by a bill from ACT's sole MP David Seymour, who watched the final at a bar in Auckland's Mt Eden.

He was happy there had been no major problems and it showed New Zealanders were actually responsible people.

"The picture that was painted when the bill was debated was that New Zealanders are infantile and if there's not a law made to prevent it happening there would just be drunk people pouring out into the street and harassing children," he said.

However, there had actually been a very positive spirit with many generations watching games together, he told NZ Newswire.

The final's 5am kick-off may have played a part, with people getting up for the game rather than staying out all night beforehand. The All Black victory may also have helped people's spirits.

Mr Seymour said that would need to be compared with what happened in Australia, where the game would have been played at least two hours earlier in the morning.

Hospitality Association chief executive Bruce Robertson says it played out exactly has they had anticipated.

"If police hadn't been so difficult over the applications for special licences under the existing act it wouldn't have been necessary," he told NZ Newswire.

Mostly people were keen to see the matches and have breakfast and a coffee at the same time. Bar owners were still required by law to look after their patrons and not allow them to get too drunk, he said.